LondonNet News Headlines
22/04/03
Virgin Go for Concorde
- Branson pledges to make 'every effort' to keep supersonic plane in the air

CONCORDE might be saved after all, if Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Atlantic Airways has anything to do with it.

Branson is keen to take over the running of British Airways fleet of seven supersonic aircraft in October, when they are scheduled to be put out to pasture.

"Every effort should be made to keep Concorde flying as it is such an important symbol of British innovation," Branson said.

The Virgin boss believes there is an existing legal mechanism which will allow him to do this, even if BA want to block the move. "When the Conservative government gave BA Concorde for UKP1, they said that if another British company ever wanted to operate it, they could," Branson said, in partial reference to an official write-off of Concorde's huge investment costs made in BA's favour.

BA believe the rising costs of maintenance of the 30-odd year old planes, plus the current downturn in cross-Atlantic business traffic, has made Concorde unviable, but Branson may think otherwise.

"I will be asking British Airways to provide me with the full operating figures," Branson said.





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